Geophysical exploration - Employment standards exceptions

There’s a special provision to the overtime rule outlined in the Employment Standards Code for employees in geophysical exploration.

The legislation on this page comes into effect on January 1, 2018

For information on Employment Standards legislation that is in force until December 31, 2017, go to http://work.alberta.ca/employment-standards.html

Basic rules

  • The overtime rule for geophysical exploration employees is 10 hours per day or 191 hours per month, whichever is greater.
  • Overtime must be paid for hours worked in excess of 10 hours a day or 44 hours a week, in either the first or last month of employment if fewer than 191 hours is worked in those months.
  • The requirement to confine an employee’s hours of work within a period of 12 consecutive hours in a work day doesn’t apply to geophysical exploration.

Who’s considered a geophysical exploration employee?

A geophysical exploration employee is a person who works in the application of a physical science in the determination of geologic or other conditions for the location of oil, natural gas, coal or other minerals.

 This doesn’t include a professional member or member-in-training, as defined in the Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act.

Hours of work and pay

The standard overtime rule of hours worked in excess of 8 hours a day or 44 hours a week, whichever is greater, doesn’t apply to geophysical exploration employees.

Exceptions to the minimum standards for regular and overtime hours

Employees must receive overtime:

  • for hours worked in excess of 10 hours a day or 191 hours a month, whichever is greater
  • for hours worked in excess of 10 hours a day or 44 hours a week, in either the first or last month of employment if fewer than 191 hours is worked in those months
  • at a rate of at least 1.5 times the regular rate of pay, or banked time off with pay at a rate of at least 1.5 times, for all overtime hours worked

Exceptions to the minimum standards of hours of work

The requirement to confine an employee’s hours of work within a period of 12 consecutive hours in a work day doesn’t apply to geophysical exploration.

While these employees aren’t restricted by the hours within which they may work, the following should be considered:

  • The employer and employee must comply with safe work practices in accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act and OHS Code.
  • Under OHS legislation, an employer must ensure the health and safety of its workers. This includes monitoring hours of work if extended hours of work can affect the health and safety of a worker or their co-workers.
  • Workers have a right and a responsibility to refuse work if it appears unsafe.
  • For information about fatigue and safety, please see the Workplace Health and Safety Bulletin, Fatigue and Safety at the Workplace. A copy of this publication can also be obtained from any OHS office in Alberta. To find an office near you, please phone the OHS Contact Centre toll-free at 1-866-415-8690.

Employees are not exempt from rest periods and days of rest and must receive:

  • at least a 30 minute break for each 5-hour period worked
  • at least one day of rest each week

What additional Employment Standards apply?

In addition to the special provisions outlined above, all other minimum standards for employment apply to employees.  Additional information on these rules can be found at:

How the law applies

Part 3, Division 2 of the Employment Standards Regulation outlines the provisions for field catering, geophysical exploration, land surveying, logging and lumbering, and road maintenance employees.

Disclaimer: In the event of any discrepancy between this information and Alberta Employment Standards legislation, the legislation is considered correct.

Contact Employment Standards

780‑427‑3731 (Edmonton and surrounding areas)

For toll-free calling, dial 1‑877‑427‑3731

From a cell phone, call #310 on Telus and Bell or *310 on Rogers.

Ask a question online

TTY/TDD for the deaf or hard of hearing

780‑427‑9999 (Edmonton and surrounding areas)

For toll-free calling, dial 1‑800‑232‑7215